1. Is this peer group worth impressing?

    Ask yourself that question everyday, ten times a day. All hierarchies are contextual, and not all hierarchies are good. Doing something well does not make it important: being the best in a given hierarchy is irrelevant if that hierarchy is irrelevant. Know your true ends, know your true values. What are their true ends and values?

  2. Is this the frame I want to be in?

    Don't get sucked into other people's frames. Choose your own frame. What is the best way in which to see this situation? Why do they see it that way? What are my actual options?

  3. Where does my and their confidence come from?

    Most people have zero self-confidence (real, actual, self-confidence). Yet they'll pretend to be confident. Even Mystery said:

    I'd rather have competence than confidence

    Have real competencies, real values, based on your own value hierarchy, and real confidence based upon it. Ask yourself what you have to prove, and to whom? And ask yourself what they're trying to prove, and to whom. See beyond the glow.

  4. Do I care about what's happening inside their minds?

    Just because someone has shit inside their head doesn't mean you have a duty to clean it up. Because really, face it, that's exactly what you're trying to do when you try to change someone's mind, even when you know it won't actually affect your reality. Beware of second-handers, and don't be one.

  5. Are their emotions relevant?

    GEORGE: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. As long as you're going to lie to the guy, why don't you tell him that you lost both of the tickets, then we could go?

    JERRY: George, the man wept. [considers that a decisive argument that closes the discussion]

    – Seinfeld, S01E04

    Just because other people's emotions are real and you can empathize with them doesn't mean they're relevant. Maybe they are, but not necessarily. Someone being very very sad because you killed a monster, or because they dropped their frankfurter, does not have the same value as someone being sad or angry because their family just got massacred.